Articles

A View from the Easel

This week, artist studios in Maine, Nova Scotia, Wisconsin, Portugal, and Serbia.

The 107th installment of a series in which artists send in a photo and a description of their workspace. Want to take part? Submit your studio — just check out the submission guidelines.

Ted Lind, Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia (site)

From April to November, my studio is located in the loft of a barn that was hand-built around 1860 in Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia. In the winter I move into a sun room located in my house just a few feet away. A skylight was installed in the roof of the barn and a large open window with a sliding door that was once used to bring in hay allows plenty of northern light to stream in. There is plenty of room to store paintings and in a room below I have tools I use to build stretcher bars for my canvases and framing. The south side looks out over the Annapolis River and in the summer I get  marvelous breezes blowing through. I even have a cot there, in case I need to nap.

Occasionally, I have gathered in the space with other artists in the community to discuss our work and to view slide shows of modern and contemporary art.  It’s an inspiring and contemplative place to be and I spend hours there, listening to the sounds of nature coming from the mountains and fields around me.

Micaela de Vivero, Covilhã, Portugal (site)

I spent one month as the first artist-in-residence for the “Projeto Entre Serras” at the Wool Museum in Covilhã, Portugal. The “Projeto Entre Serras” is an initiative aimed at creating awareness about the importance of the natural environment in the creation of culture. The Wool Museum focuses on the importance of Covilhã’s industrial past within the local, national, and international contexts. The Wool Museum operates in association with the Universidade da Beira Interior. Through these institutions I was given a studio-apartment in the faculty residence building. The purpose of my residency was to develop artwork based on the study of color while using wool as a medium. I came out of this experience with increased knowledge of the historical and contemporary textile industry.

The faculty residence building is on a steep mountain slope and from the studio-apartment I could see the red roofs scattered around the town. The apartment is the ideal size for the comfortable accommodation of one person, allowing enough tabletop and floor space for making art. This is not a space that allows you to be particularly messy, since it’s more thought of as an apartment than a studio, but using plastic tarps to cover the tabletops and the floor came in handy when engaging with wet processes. The large shelf proved itself ideal to organize colors and materials as well as experiments with fibers. The two tabletops were optimal surfaces for working on paper. My bed was located on the back side of the shelf, and on the left side of the table was the kitchenette. I was able to dissolve the boundaries between my working and living space, allowing for constant reflection on the art I was producing.

Once the artwork was ready to leave the studio, there were plenty of locations inside the museum where I could mount installations. This was an ideal life/work location in which I spend a very productive time having nothing else but to focus on making art.

Alonzo Pantoja, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (site)

My studio is one of many housed in an old factory-like structure. With three floors of design spaces and studios, mine is on the third floor in one of the corners of the building. The third floor is the artist studios where they are mostly painters, but there are a few sculptors, a printmaker, and a fiber artist. We all share a sink and a common area. I am in my studio three days a week and, as you can see, the walls in the studios don’t go up to the ceiling and so we have to be mindful of noise as it travels.

Sometimes I can hear Mozart from down the hall and other times I hear swearing. The elevator in the building is a heart attack, but reliable. It’s probably as old as the building, its only broken down twice this year.

I have been in this studio for about two years and in the fall I will be moving out and into a new studio.

Sara Stites, Thomaston, Maine (site)

I live part of the year in Miami and part in Maine.  This is a photo of my space in Maine, a spare bedroom of the old house we bought in Thomaston, down the road from Rockland, Maine.

Each year when I arrive, I draw the plants I find on walks around the neighborhood. This year, I fell for dandelions. They are hated on lawns but their strong stems hold their yellow heads high and they persist. Afterward, I hang the specimens on one wall that you can see at left, along with tools of the drawing trade. Taped to the straight ahead wall is a long work on Yupo paper and, to the right, some sculpture I’ve been making using found glass from Good Will. My pal, Jack, has a bed in the corner. I have been surprised and thrilled at my somewhat child-like sense of freedom here!

Branislav Miokovic, Mandjelos, Serbia

This is my Summer studio in a small village of Mandjelos in Serbia. It is a converted cattle sty of approximately 350 sq. ft. The window is facing west so I have an even and sufficient light in the morning until early afternoon. The size of the studio is sufficient to work no a couple of large paintings simultaneously.

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